Alec Burnside

Alec Burnside Dechert antitrust lawyer in Brussels

Alec Burnside


Brussels | 480 Avenue Louise, Box 13A, Brussels, Belgium 1050
+32 2 535 54 33 | +32 2 535 5400

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Alec Burnside practices in the area of EU competition law, with a particular focus on merger clearances, state aid, cartel defense, and abuse of dominance matters. Over the past three decades, Mr. Burnside has played a key role in cases for leading corporations, global industries and governments on issues arising across a broad spectrum of industries, including consumer products, energy and natural resources, financial services, manufacturing, military, pharmaceuticals, technology, telecoms, and transport and logistics. He is noted by clients as “instrumental in reaching [their] goals," because of his “unique blend of creativity and persistence.” (Chambers Global 2016)

Mr. Burnside has been recognized and recommended over many years as a leading lawyer for competition law in publications such as Chambers Global, Chambers Europe, Legal 500 EMEA, Global Competition Review, International Financial Law Review, and Best Lawyers in Belgium. He was named a “thought leader” in competition by Who’s Who Legal in 2018 and 2019. 

Prior to joining Dechert, Mr. Burnside was resident in the Brussels office of another international law firm where he served as a partner in the antitrust practice. He has been based in Brussels continuously since 1989.

  • Aer Lingus on its merger with IAG, its defense of successive hostile takeover bids by Ryanair and appeals in the EU's General Court, as well as UK investigations into Ryanair's minority shareholding in Aer Lingus and related UK appeals.
  • Aer Lingus in relation to Ireland’s air passenger tax and associated state aid proceedings before the European Commission and European Courts.
  • Deutsche Post DHL as a third party in relation to the prohibited UPS/TNT merger and the FedEx/TNT merger, and on many acquisitions and other investigations, including international removals and state aid at Leipzig airport.
  • Getty Images and a number of other companies in the IT and media sector, in relation to the European Commission's investigation of Google's abuse of dominance in search on desktops and mobile devices.
  • A Japanese capacitor manufacturer in relation to the Commission’s electrolytic capacitor cartel investigation.
  • Monsanto in relation to merger proposals with Syngenta and Bayer.
  • The European Commission's investigation into alleged manipulation of pricing mechanisms on crude oil and derivative products.
  • Mergers creating BAE Systems, BHP Billiton and GlaxoSmithKline.
  • British American Tobacco on acquisitions, including privatizations in Italy and Turkey.

Includes matters handled at Dechert or prior to joining the firm.

  • University of Cambridge, Downing College, 1982
  • College of Law, London, 1983
  • Institut d’Etudes Europeennes, Brussels, 1984
  • Brussels
  • England and Wales
  • French
  • English
  • German
  • Associate of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, London
Speaking Engagements
  • 22nd IBA Annual Competition Conference — Presented by the IBA Antitrust Committee, St Regis Hotel, Florence (September 14-15, 2018)

Alec Burnside speaks on the panel 'New competition theories of harm'. The panel looks at new substantive theories of antitrust harm evolving around the globe, such as the innovation theory of harm in mergers, common ownership concerns, increased scrutiny of vertical mergers, exploitative abuses and potential new theories around big data and its use.
Visit the conference website here or view the conference agenda here.

  • The Path towards Modern EU Competition Policy: a 50+ year retrospective, Brussels (June 21, 2018)

Alec Burnside leads a presentation entitled, "Competition and innovation: from a general to a specific concern?"
More information about the conference is available here

  • Interim measures & EU competition proceedings: Is there a case for reform?, Brussels (June 8, 2018)

The panel discusses the limited recent use of the Commission’s power to order rapid provisional relief, and the pros and cons of possible reforms. The discussion draws on comparative practice of national competition agencies.
Read the synthesis of the conference here.

  • Competition Section annual conference 2018: debating key competition law developments, The Law Society, London (May 17, 2018)

Partner Alec Burnside speaks on a panel titled "Digital and emerging technologies".
For more information, please visit the official event page.

  • 26th Annual Advanced EU Competition Law 2017, Brussels, Belgium (November 21, 2017)

Partner Alec Burnside speaks on a panel titled "Big Data, Data Rights and Privacy: New Frontier for Competition Law".
View Mr. Burnside's presentation slides
For more information, please visit the official conference website.

  • Online Markets and Offline Welfare Effects – The Internet, Competition, Society and Democracy — Presented by the University of Oxford Centre for Competition Law and Policy, Pembroke College, Oxford (May 22, 2017)

Partner Alec Burnside speaks at a panel on Digital Economy and Consumer Welfare.
For a complete list of speakers, please visit the University of Oxford's event page.

  • Brexit: What Effect Upon the Transport Sector? — Competition Law in the Transport Sector, Novotel Amsterdam City, The Netherlands (January 31, 2017)

Topics discussed on this panel include: Ownership restrictions for airlines; What impact will Brexit have on the UK as a venue for damages litigation?; Open Skies post- Brexit
To view the full agenda, please click here.

  • Has Antitrust Failed?: Antitrust Law Section Annual Meeting — Presented by the New York State Bar Association, New York, NY (January 26, 2017)

Partner Alec J. Burnside participates on a panel titled, “Has Antitrust Failed?” which discusses the following questions: Has antitrust allowed too much concentration?  Are we already too concentrated?  Have the global high-tech, big data companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook already seized control of big data? What will be the impact of our new consolidation? Will consolidation have negative implications for innovation, consumer choice and other competitive effects that are not easily measured? 
To view the full agenda and list of speakers, please visit NYSBA's official website.

  • Big Data and Competition Law 2016 — IBC Legal Conferences, Brussels (October 25, 2016)
  • EDPS-BEUC Conference on Big Data: Individual Rights and Smart Enforcement — European Data Protection Supervisor, Brussels (September 29, 2016)
  • Competition Law Challenges in the Transport Sector — IBC Legal Conferences, London (January 27, 2016)
  • Antitrust, Regulation and New Business Models — Jevons Institute for Competition Law and Economics, Washington, D.C. (November 3, 2015)
  • A Quarter Century of EUMR: What Next in the World of Merger Control? — MLex Market Insight, Brussels (October 6, 2015)
  • 3rd Annual GCR Live — GIR, New York (September 18, 2015)
  • The Role of 'Big Data' in Competition Law — British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London (September 9, 2015)
  • GCR Live 4th Annual Telecoms, Media & Technology — GCR, London (July 2, 2015)
  • Competition Law in the Aviation Sector 2015 — IBC Legal Conferences, Brussels (January 29, 2015)
  • EU Competition Law — QED 2014 EU Competition Law Summit, Brussels (September 11, 2014)
  • Competition Law Challenges in the Financial Services Sector 2014 — IBC Legal Conferences, London (July 12, 2014)
  • Conflicts of Interest, Ethical Rules and Impartiality in EU Competition Policy — Concurrences, Brussels (April 24, 2014)
  • International Forum EU Competition Law — Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht, Brussels (April 3, 2014)
  • Dominance & Pricing 2014 — IBC Legal Conferences, Brussels (March 18, 2014)
  • GCR Live 3rd Annual Antitrust Law Leaders Forum — GCR, Miami (February 7, 2014)
  • Competition Law Challenges in the Aviation Sector 2014 — IBC Legal Conferences, Brussels (February 4, 2014)
  • 12th Annual Compliance & Ethics Institute — Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics, Washington, D.C. (October 6, 2013)
  • EU Merger Control in Review - Taking Stock — GCLC, Brussels (July 12, 2013)
  • BSB Careers Day — The British School of Brussels, Brussels (October 22, 2012)